Germany emerged as the top cultural travel destination for European tourists, while registering a whopping 83.7 million international overnight stays in 2017, says a report by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Germany offers an unparalleled experience for tourists, with its seemingly endless choices of landscapes, customs, architecture, cuisine and much more. Located in North Central Europe, the warm summer, from May to September, is the best time to visit this country.
The first step in planning a trip to any country in the Eurozone is to apply for a Schengen Visa. You can either download the visa application form and fill it by hand or do it online and then take a print out to be submitted to the German embassy in your country.
A total of 1,857,770 Uniform Schengen Visas were issued by Germany in 2017, revealed statistics by Schengen Visa Info. This visa allows you to stay in Germany for a period of 90 days for multiple purposes, including tourism, business, studies, visiting relatives and so on.
If you are planning a stay for a period longer than 90 days, you need to obtain a National Visa. Apart from this, the only separate visa you will require is a Transit Visa, if you need to enter the country to make a change in your means of transport.
Lastly, if a Limited Territorial Validity Visa is issued to you, you are not permitted entry into any other country and must stay in Germany.
Eligibility Criteria for a Germany Visa
German visa holders can also travel to the 25 other countries in the Schengen Area. Whether you require a national visa for Germany or not depends on the length of your stay, the purpose of your trip and your citizenship. However, before you apply for any type of visa, you should know the eligibility criteria, which include:
- For the purpose of tourism, you will require documents like a valid passport and bank statements.
Read: Required Documents for German Visa
- If your travel is business-related, you will require documents from your employer proving the purpose of your visit.
- Medical visas need local medical reports and an appointment at a German hospital.
- If you are traveling for an event, you will be required to produce invitation letters, details of participants and proof of the duration of your stay.
- For official delegates, details of their identity, the purpose of their journey, duration of stay and official invitation are mandatory.
- If you are visiting the country for temporary study, research or internship purposes, the enrollment slip, and attendance allowance proof are to be produced.
- If you are simply looking to transit through the country, all you need is an entry permit and a valid visa.
Other Mandatory Eligibility Criteria
You are eligible to reside in Germany for more than 90 days only if you have health insurance. Financial proof that you can fund your stay through the entire trip must also be produced. Anyone entering Germany from a non-European country must have at least €10,000 at their disposal. If you are bringing other means of financial support, equivalent to this amount, you will need to inform the customs officials regarding this.
Also read: German Visa Fees & Cost
For more details on any updates to the eligibility criteria or requirements for a German visa, it is best to consult the embassy in your home country.